When Pe'Son Howard broke his left foot early during one of Maryland's preseason practices, many wondered whether the sophomore point guard would be back by the time Atlantic Coast Conference season began in January. There was even talk of Howard redshirting this season.
Turns out that Howard is a quick healer. Howard told CBSSports.com over the weekend that he hoped to be back on the court for the Terps' Dec. 23 game against Radford.
That would be well ahead of the 8-12-week timetable initially set by doctors and comes as Maryland is scheduled to return from a nine-day break for final exams.
The Terps play Wednesday night against Florida International at Comcast Center.
When Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was asked at his news conference Tuesday about Howard's announcement, Turgeon wanted to know whether the news had come out via Twitter.
Told that it was on CBS Sports, Turgeon seemed exasperated that Howard was making that kind of pronouncement only days after getting the protective boot removed.
"If that's what the kid decided, that's probably when he'll be back," Turgeon said. "My whole deal is that if it's your body and you're healthy and you want to play, then you play. I'm going to coach who I have. If we add a guy, I'll coach them. We're going to have like nine different teams this year."
Turgeon had said a few minutes before that Howard had "done nothing live yet" and of the team's doctors and trainers, "they're really taking it slow." Turgeon also said that Howard ran on the treadmill for 45 minutes Sunday without pain.
Stoglin expected to play
Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin, the ACC's leading scorer, sat out last weekend's practices because of a sprained ankle suffered late in the close win over Mount St. Mary's last Wednesday.
"He came back [Monday], and it wasn't one of his better practices," Turgeon said Tuesday. "Unfortunately for him, he missed two really good practices. Fortunately for him, it's a good time for him to rest his legs. He's had a lot on him already, so it might be a blessing for him in the end."
The practices focused on Maryland's defense, something Stoglin has grudgingly come to accept. Turgeon said he expected Stoglin to play against Florida International.
"The competitor I know he is, I just hope he's 100 percent," Turgeon said. "He made about 80 percent of our practice [Monday]. Our trainer says he's fine."
Not distracted by Thomas
Turgeon first met Florida International coach Isiah Thomas when the former NBA star was coaching the New York Knicks and attended a clinic given by John Calipari, then coaching at Memphis. But Turgeon followed Thomas' playing career at Indiana University as well as with the Detroit Pistons.
"Like most kids who were point guards growing up, he was pretty special and I enjoyed watching him play," the Maryland coach recalled Tuesday. "It's amazing. He doesn't have to be doing what he's doing, but he's doing it. It's good for him."
Turgeon is not worried about the Terps' being distracted by Thomas' presence at Comcast Center.
"My kids don't know Isiah Thomas," Turgeon said, half-jokingly. "My kids don't think I'm any good as a coach. It's like when you go home, you're just Dad, not giving them candy or something. I'm sure our guys will be pretty fired up to see who's on the other bench. It's like any other game. Once the game starts, you don't think about who's down there. I worry more about their guards. Those guys are pretty good players. I worry about them much more than I do Isiah."
The game was originally scheduled for 8 p.m., but tipoff has been pushed up to 7:30 p.m.